IKE TURNER & THE KINGS OF RHYTHM – Thinking Black [Pompeii]

A simple fact often forgotten by mainstream mainstays – and often the reason for pop wonders remaining one-hit – is popular music’s very popularity being traditionally born of novelty.

Having cut his teeth accompanying juke joint behemoths Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and the like, Ike Turner carved himself a career as a session musician, talent scout and rock’n’roll pioneer at the frontier of blues and soul before hitting pay dirt with his fourth wife in the 60s.

Turner’s stringently managed backing band the Kings of Rhythm was a career constant (if its line-up was anything but) and in 1969, apparently to amuse himself while touring with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, he and the Kings cut the break-loaded instrumental funk album A Black Man’s Soul.

Despite boasting much sampled honky-tonk blues ‘Getting Nasty’ in its ranks, riding the heavy horns and killer ivories of the album’s opener, it’s the squelchy moog at the groove’s helm of ‘Thinking Black’ that makes this deep African funk hard to beat.

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